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'Teen Titans Go! To the Movies' is family-friendly fun

Cary Ashby • Aug 7, 2018 at 2:15 PM

“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is exactly what you’d expect. It’s also exactly what I needed this summer – and so does the movie industry.

This is a fun, family-friend animated flick. Who doesn’t love that? Sure, “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is rated PG, but as a parent who closely monitors what his daughters (ages 9 and 14) see on TV and in the movies, I would have no problem taking my kids sight unseen.

Everything you’ve come to expect from the Cartoon Network series is there: Silliness, random musical numbers, Cyborg yelling “Boo-yeah!” and a story with heart. The “Go!” team rap is quite catchy, actually.

Do you laugh? Time and time again.

Before the movie is a delightful animated short about Batgirl getting a call from Wonder Woman who requests help with defeating Mister Freeze. Barbara Gordon gets in a panic since she’s at home and her father, who doesn’t know she’s Batgirl, is still awake.

Silliness ensues after Commissioner Gordon goes to bed; Batgirl slips out of the house and tries to avoid being shut out of the action. Based on the “DC SuperHero Girls” line, it’s certain to be an extra on the “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” Blu-ray or DVD.

The cast of the “Teen Titans Go!” series returns for “To the Movies.” The biggest name of the quintet is Tara Strong, who voices Raven and the aforementioned Batgirl.

Kristen Bell and Will Arnett add star power, respectively as a movie producer and Slade (better known as Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke the Terminator). I have a pretty attuned ear for voice casts, but I completely missed Nicolas Cage, Jimmy Kimmel, Will Wheaton and even singer Michael Bolton.

The underlying concept of the “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is … you guessed it, the massive amount of superhero flicks. Can you blame Robin for wanting his own movie, especially when the Batmobile gets a film before the Boy Wonder does? It’s tough being a sidekick who leads a team that gets no respect.

Be on the look-out for dozens of Easter eggs. A movie poster referring to “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as “Yawn of Justice” is one of my favorite ways that DC Comics and Warner Bros. (DC’s parent company) lampoon themselves. 

In fact, DC and Warner Bros. Animation aren’t afraid to get their rivals in on the fun. Why not have Stan Lee, the king of Marvel movie cameos, show up on the Warner Bros. studio lot?

One of the best way DC pokes fun at itself is through the Challengers of the Unknown, a creation of none other than the legendary Jack Kirby. Fun fact: the self-titled series had an uninterrupted publication run from May 1958 through January 1971 and then again, this time off and on, for another 10 issues.

“Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is a breath of fresh air from the live-action film division of Warner Bros., which has a well-earned reputation for taking its superhero movies too seriously and forgetting to have fun with the DC universe.

Warner Bros. Animation gets it right because this movie is a good time.

It’s not geared toward middle-age fans like me, but that didn’t keep me from having fun. On the other hand, it is geared toward those same fans who have families – and being family-friendly is exactly what every part of the comic book industry should be. So turn off brain and take your kids “To the Movies” with the goofy “Teen Titans Go!” crew. You’ll be glad you did.

Grade: A

Reflector staff writer Cary Ashby shares his views, reviews, previews and interviews about the superhero industry and action-adventure genre on his Cary’s Comics Craze blog, caryscomicscraze.blogspot.com. CCC originally ran as a twice-monthly column in the Reflector for nearly 10 years. Follow Ashby on Facebook at “Cary Ashby — reporter & comic book blogger” and on Twitter at @Cary_reporter.

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